Iconic local art coming home
TWO original works depicting images of Douglas by internationally renowned artists Russell Drysdale and Donald Friend are venturing north for the Cairns Regional Gallery Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner.
The 1952 Road to Black Mountains by Drysdale and the 1948 Donald Friend classic Street in Port Douglas currently reside in Brisbane but will be on display in Cairns during the dinner.
It is the hope of the Foundation to raise enough money to acquire these pieces, worth $17,500 and $9000 respectively, to keep them in the region where they originated.
Guest speaker at the dinner will be Dr Vaughan Rees, the associate dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at UNSW who has a rich history in the region and will provide an academic insight into the significance of adding these two works to the gallery’s collection.
‘‘ The reason why Russell Drysdale was able to become an artist is because his family had investment in the North Queensland sugar industry. The profits made by sugar cane allowed him to celebrate landscapes,’’ Dr Rees said.
‘‘The best part about Drysdale going into places like North Queensland, he drew the places, people, situations and outback rather than Melbourne, Canberra or Sydney. He went in, captured and celebrated the ordinariness, like the Road to Black Mountain.
‘‘ Friend is the quintessential drawer. His drawings catch the character or place. Street in Port Douglas seems like my own memory of Port Douglas, with the little cafes and famous people sitting at the next table in shorts and thongs too - it was a great levelling effect.’’
Dr Rees said he will be delving into the history, cultural significance